Everything you need to know about WIDU!

 

What is WIDU.africa?

WIDU.africa is an online platform, which aims to support entrepreneurship in Africa. Currently it is operating in Ghana and Cameroon. WIDU redirects existing remittances into sustainable investments for start-ups and small businesses of friends and family and tops them up with a grant.

Who operates WIDU.africa?

The WIDU Platform is an initiative of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), implemented by the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

How does WIDU work?

A member from the Ghanaian or Cameroonian diaspora in Germany registers on WIDU.africa, invites an entrepreneur in Ghana or Cameroon and together they create a business project. As soon as the project application has been approved by WIDU, they can invest in their project, document the investments on the platform and apply for the WIDU grant to further expand their business. The entire process is explained in the explainer video.

Who can take part in WIDU.africa?

The initiative is aimed at private individuals from the Ghanaian or Cameroonian diaspora in Germany who are motivated to support friends and families in their country of origin. The prerequisite for diaspora donors is to be at least 18 years old and hold a Ghanaian or Cameroonian passport together with a valid residence permit for Germany or a German passport. Further, we recommend that the diaspora donor and the entrepreneur already know and trust each other. It is also important that both parties – donors and entrepreneurs – are prepared to invest the same amount of money in the project.

Why should I register on WIDU.africa?

WIDU allows you to support friends and family members in your country of origin more effectively. The WIDU grant is equal to the amount the diaspora partner and entrepreneur jointly invest (both equal shares) which gives your friend or family member additional capital. Plus, WIDU supports the entrepreneur in Africa with business coaching. You can also follow how the money is spent throughout the transparent process on the WIDU platform.

Is there a return on investment on my contribution?

No, there is no financial return on investment in the WIDU process. The remittance to your home country is a private transfer to support your friends and family members. WIDU doubles the investment that the diaspora donor and entrepreneur have made. There is a social return on investment as you support your friends and family sustainably by helping them build or expand their businesses with further financial support and business coaching from WIDU.africa.

I registered on WIDU.africa but I did not receive an invitation e-mail. What should I do?

Occasionally, e-mail accounts wrongly identify the invitation e-mail as spam. Please check your spam/junk folder. Some e-mail accounts have an additional spam folder, please make sure to check this folder as well. Also make sure that you have entered the correct e-mail address.

How do I invite my friend or family member to WIDU?

You need to register on WIDU.africa and scroll down until you find a button called “invite entrepreneur”. Please click on it and enter the e-mail address. Please inform your friend or relative to check their e-mail account.

I have sent the invitation to the wrong e-mail address. What do I do?

You can cancel the e-mail invitation and re-enter a new e-mail address.

What is the maximum grant I can apply for?

The diaspora donor can transfer between 125 and up to 1,250 €. Important: the entrepreneur in Ghana or Cameroon has to contribute the equal amount so the joint investment is between 250 and 2,500 €. The grant is the equivalent of your joint investment and consequently between 250 and 2,500 €.

Why does the entrepreneur have to match my contribution?

The equality between the diaspora donor and the entrepreneur is very important for us. We want to make sure that the partnership takes place at eye level. By investing the same amount, the partners are equal partners and therefore equally committed to implement a successful project.

Can I transfer money via WIDU.africa?

No, the money has to be transferred through a formal transfer channel. The BMZ-financed comparison site www.geldtransfair.de helps you to find the best option to transfer the money. After transferring the money, you have to upload an official receipt that proves the transfer.

I am visiting my friend or family member in Africa. Can I give him/her the money in cash?

Unfortunately not. We need to have an official document that proves that you have transferred the money. However, you can transfer the money via a local bank as long as they give you an official proof of transaction.

Do I have to use my real name on the WIDU.africa platform?

Yes, it is very important to use your real full name (all first and surnames) to be able to identify yourself in the process - but don’t worry: this information will not be made public unless you explicitly agree.

What is IDnow?

IDnow is a service provider for ID recognition to prevent fraud on WIDU.africa. It is part of the fraud management system on the platform and has to be used by diaspora donors before submitting the grant application.

What do I need for IDnow?

You need to have your ID-Card or Passport, a smartphone, and the IDnow App. Please make sure your full name is spelt according to your ID document. IDnow will then guide you through the process step by step.

I have finished all the steps on IDnow. What happens next?

Good job, WIDU.africa will check the information and send you an e-mail as soon as the identification process is completed. In some cases, this can take a couple of days and you might have to repeat the process. As soon as WIDU.africa receives a positive notification from IDnow you are able to submit the application for the WIDU grant.

Who supports the African entrepreneurs on the ground?

Local coaching organizations in Cameroon and Ghana provide support by identifying potential challenges and advising on how to overcome them so that your contribution has the biggest impact possible.

How long will it take me to complete all steps on the WIDU.africa platform?

The duration depends on your joint commitment. There are three phases during which you have to enter information on the platform. The most time will be required for the coaching sessions in Ghana and Cameroon and the investments in Africa that are then documented on the platform. The more precise your business idea, the faster you can implement it and receive the coaching and grant in Ghana or Cameroon. You will receive e-mails when it is your turn to add information.

How many projects can I support?

You can support as many projects as you like, but only one at a time.

Where can I get more information on WIDU.africa?

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions, Contract and Data Protection Policy for more details. You can also find more information on our Facebook site or on YouTube. Or reach out to us directly via an e-mail to diaspora@widu.africa.

Am I eligible to receive a WIDU grant?

You are eligible, if you are a Ghanaian or Cameroonian citizen, you are older than 18 years, live in Ghana or Cameroon, and want to start or expand a small business (less than 20 employees).

What do I need throughout the process?

You need to have a valid ID document, a smartphone and a connection to the internet. Additionally, you need to have a bank account or a mobile money account to receive the grant.

What is the process to receive the WIDU grant?

A member from the Ghanaian or Cameroonian diaspora in Germany registers on WIDU.africa, invites an entrepreneur in Ghana or Cameroon and together they create a business project. As soon as this has been approved by WIDU, they can implement the project by investing in their project, proving the investments on the platform and applying for a WIDU grant to further expand their business. The entire process is explained in the explainer video.<

I didn’t receive an invitation e-mail from my friend/family member in Germany?

Occasionally, e-mail accounts wrongly identify the invitation e-mail as spam. Please check your spam/junk folder. Some e-mail accounts have an additional spam folder, please make sure to check this folder as well. Also check with your diaspora partner that he/she has entered the correct e-mail address.

What if I change my mind and want to invest the WIDU grant in a different way?

During your WIDU project you can adjust the investment plan. As soon as you send us your project application, a local coach will discuss the business plan with you and help set up your business. Just communicate how you want to invest the money on the platform and discuss the new plan with your coach.

Who is the coach and how does the coach support me?

The coach is sent by a local coaching organisation. The coach will go through the business plan with you, identify potential challenges and give you advice.

How is the grant released?

As soon as you completed the phase of the joint investment successfully, the grant is transferred to your Bank Account in Africa or to your Mobile Money Account. The grant is not paid via the platform.

How many times can I go through the process?

The Diaspora Donor:

  • can have several projects at a time but not allowed to have several projects at a time with the same entrepreneur (this also counts for having an Original WIDU project and a Corona Business Grant Project)
  • up to three Original WIDU projects and one Corona Business Grant Project
  • can start a new project with the same entrepreneur after the previous has been finalised

 

The Entrepreneur:

  • can only have one project at a time (this also counts for having an Original WIDU project and a Corona Business Grant Project)
  • has to wait until previous project has been finalised before starting the next one
  • up to three Original WIDU projects and one Corona Business Grant Project

 

Do I need to pay back the WIDU grant?

No, you don’t have to pay back the grant as long as you use the money for the investment purposes you mentioned in your investment plan. If you do not spend the grant for the planned activities, you will have to pay back the grant or part of it.

I don’t have a registered business; can I receive the WIDU grant?

Yes, you don’t need to have an officially registered business to receive the WIDU grant. You only need to prove that you invested the WIDU grant properly.

How is my data protected?

WIDU complies with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR).
Any information and files sent are stored on a specially secured server in Germany and are only used for internal and anonymised evaluation after the project has come to an end.

Where can I get more information on WIDU?

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions, Contract and Data Protection Policy for more details. You can also find more information on our Facebook site or on YouTube. Or reach out to us directly via an e-mail to ghana@widu.africa or cameroun@widu.africa.

Still didn't find the answer? Contact us!